In honor of the start of a new year it’s only appropriate to pop open a few Champagne corks. Nothing says celebration quite like Champagne. In the words of Napoleon “In victory, you deserve Champagne, in defeat, you need it.”
I think its secret is in those tiny bubbles. The refreshing effervescence captured in Champagne makes it unlike any other spirit; it truly is a sparkling wine of great distinction. A glass of good bubbly excites the taste buds and refreshes the palate.
If you want something a little out of the ordinary to pair with your bubbly this New Year’s Eve, may I suggest freshly popped popcorn? Yes, popcorn with Champagne. As strange as it may sound, the two make a great pair.
The word sugar-plum, evokes a quaint sense of old-world whimsy and yuletide celebrations gone by.
We think of Clement Clark Moore’s famous poem where “children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads…” or the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from Tchaikovsky’s The Nut Cracker.
But what exactly is a sugar-plum?
Do you have family or friends who are gluten-free? These days a lot of people are. I’m betting that many of you know at least one or more people that suffer from celiac disease or are eating a gluten-free diet for other health reasons.
So I was pleased to hear that Tate’s Bake Shop’s newest endeavor is a line of gluten-free cookies and brownies.
Like I did the last time I thought I’d compile a list of products that I’ve found and love to share with my readers. This gift guide is meant to offer you some inspiration and hopefully take the guess work out of those last minute gifts you may still need to buy.
This past weekend I had a yearning for clafoutis. My stomach rumbles at more or less regular intervals at the thought of this classic dessert that every French grandmother has in her repertoire.
Clafoutis is one of those rustic desserts that defies classification. A cross between a custard, a thick pancake, and a flan; it’s neither complicated nor intricate but it’s absolutely irresistible. In essence, it amounts to a moist crêpe-like batter studded with fruit.
What makes it great isn’t the complexity of preparation or presentation but rather the pure unpretentious flavors of the few ingredients it contains.
Like many cooks, I’ve long banished Teflon and non-stick coated cookware from my home due to the associated health risks. The risks just outweighed the benefits for me, especially when safer alternatives existed. The problem was many of those alternatives did not produce the same results or required extra care.
As much as I love my stainless steel cookware it does stick; that’s just the nature of stainless steel. Carbon steel and cast iron are other alternatives but they require proper seasoning before they can be used, and can’t be washed with soap, soaked overnight, or left to air dry.
So I was very happy to be given the chance to review Le Creuset’s Enameled Cast Iron Skillet. The beauty of enameled cast iron is that it gives you all the benefits of cast iron with none of the fussiness.
December is no ordinary month. For many of us it’s a series of weekends spent baking, nights spent celebrating and houses filled with family and friends. An abundance of special occasions fill the calendar during this time.
And while the frantic pace can be unrelenting, holiday brunches are the one exception that seem to ignore the clock and invite us to recharge and savor a long, lazy meal in good company.
Here we are, December, and there’s a laundry list of things to do. I can hardly believe that the holiday season is upon us already; I blinked and another month whizzed by.
There’s no time to waste; it’s time to get moving on the gift buying and giving. So from now until the end of December I’ll be offering suggestions for presents that revolve around some of my favorite activities: cooking, taking pictures and eating!
Hopefully you’ll find a few ideas for anyone who loves food and/or photography and maybe a little present for yourself too.